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ERIC Number: ED568906
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Feb
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 40
Re-Balancing Assessment: Placing Formative and Performance Assessment at the Heart of Learning and Accountability
Hofman, Peter; Goodwin, Bryan; Kahl, Stuart
McREL International
These days, a growing chorus of parents, educators, and policymakers is voicing frustration and anger with top-down accountability and high-stakes testing. As members of two not-for-profit education organizations--one focused on assessment and the other on research and instructional practices--the authors find nothing wrong with testing itself; indeed, they believe evidence of what students know and can do should be at the heart of schooling. They are concerned, however, about what seems to be an almost myopic focus on high-stakes accountability based on tests of basic knowledge and skills to drive improvements in educational outcomes, to the exclusion of using formative and performance assessment to facilitate student growth and deeper learning (i.e., the ability to apply knowledge and skills in novel situations) (Pelligrino & Hilton, 2012). Thus, they call for replacing our current, unbalanced formula of summative assessments and external pressure with a new, more balanced formula for assessment and accountability centered around "curriculum-embedded performance assessments" or "CEPAs"--classroom-based instructional units that provide multiple opportunities for learning and both formative and summative evidence-gathering. Done well, CEPAs can harness the power of real-time feedback, personalized learning, and real-world application to help students develop requisite foundational knowledge and deeper learning. Moreover, as the authors will discuss, CEPAs may be used for summative, including state accountability, purposes. While they are not a silver bullet, CEPAs could drive many other beneficial changes in the education system, including better classroom practice, more motivating and engaging school environments, and greater professional collaboration among educators. Perhaps most promising, CEPAs could undergird a state-level accountability system that measures what matters most: the extent to which students are developing and demonstrating the kinds of deeper learning they will need for success in college, career, and life.
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Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: McREL International; Measured Progress